Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Why Don’t We Know What Happened To …

A good bit of sports writing is simply gossip. Nevertheless, in the end baseball is about the players and fans are very interested in the men who play this game. I’m not sure the Bulls (more likely the Rays) respect that interest when it comes to minor league ballplayers.

David Price is feeling good and that’s making headlines. I get that. A lot of media reps are watching the Rays and especially the progress of one of their stars. Downstream, however, things are very different. The Durham Bulls have five players on the disabled list and you would be hard-pressed to get any information at all about their status.

I don’t think that the information is completely unavailable, it is just that it’s limited to a single source coming through an ephemeral medium. That is, at some point in his broadcast each evening the Bulls broadcaster Patrick Kinas may provide an injury update. However, even fans as obsessed with the Bulls as we are don’t listen to every game, and couldn’t the Bulls do more for their fans anyhow?

Cases in point —
  • Whatever happened to Hak-Ju Lee? In his case we know why he’s on the disabled list, but what’s happened since then? 
  • Or Frank De Los Santos? In his case, as far as I know, fans were never informed regarding why he is on the DL, and certainly no prediction of his return to the team. 
  • Will Inman? Excluding broadcast comment, all fans know is that he’s on the DL. Why? Is he with the team? 
  • What about catcher Chris Gimenez? In his case we don’t even know why he’s on the list, something to do with his left hand? 
  • And lastly the player who brought this rant on, Rich Thompson. A close reading of the June 6th Indy-Bulls play-by-play shows that he caught a fly ball in the bottom of the 4th inning and then left the game. That’s it as far as information available in non-broadcast media. Hearing a comment on the radio, WDBB queried Thompson over Twitter and got the response (thanks, Rich) that he could be out for the year. But why? What happened? 
I suppose I should take my complaint to the local newspapers. They are, after all, the only real reporters around here. But the only regular reportage of the Bulls comes from just one newspaper, Durham’s Herald-Sun. And their coverage isn’t actually a regular “beat” since it rotates through a couple of writers and is limited to home games. Yes, there’s a daily news story of away games in the Raleigh News & Observer and the Herald-Sun, but that’s just a cut and paste from the Bulls’ own release.

My guess is that the Rays and the Bulls figure that folks really don’t much care what a blogger thinks and that’s fair. But I really think there are more fans than just WDBB who would like to know what happened to these young men and what the prospects are of seeing them on the field in the future.

What’s the fix? Pretty straightforward it seems to me. An injury update press release from time to time would work just fine.


  1. Chris, MiLB TV showed what happened pretty clearly. Rich made a great catch against the wall in deep center, came down injured and had to be helped off the field / into the dugout in obvious pain. He was holding his right foot and not really putting any weight on it.

  2. Thank you!

    I gave up on MiLB last season and missed the call on the radio. Now I know.

    Thank you so much for providing us the information I've been trying to get from the Rays/Bulls for several days.

    Now to start hassling the Rays to give the Bulls a new outfielder ... ooops! they just took a pitcher (Odorizzi) away.